Sunday, May 23, 2010


DESCENT OF HOLY SPIRIT ON THE APOSTLES - Today is Whit Sunday for many Christians. Pentecost “the fiftieth day” is one of the prominent feasts in the Christian liturgical year commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples of Christ and launched the Church. The feast is also called Whitsun, Whitsunday, Whit Sunday, or Whitsuntide, especially in the United Kingdom. Pentecost is celebrated seven weeks (50 days or “Pentecost” in Greek) after Easter Sunday, hence its name. The term “Whit” derives from “white.” Whitsunday was a day set aside for baptisms, and the newly immersed typically wore white. The book of the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 2:1-4), narrates this event: “On the day of Pentecost, all the Lord’s followers were together in one place. Suddenly, there was a noise from heaven like the sound of a mighty wind. It filled the house where they were meeting. Then they saw what looked like fiery tongues moving in all directions, and a tongue came and settled on each person there. The Holy Spirit took control of everyone, and they began speaking whatever languages the Spirit let them speak.”

Pentecost is historically and symbolically related to the Jewish harvest festival of Shavuot, which commemorates God giving the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai fifty days after the Exodus. Among Christians, Pentecost commemorates when fifty days after Jesus’ return to His Father in heaven, He sent the Spirit to His disciples. Therefore, the Holy Spirit has a very special role in the building of God’s reign on earth. This is precisely why Jesus promised His disciples that He would send the Spirit to guide them in their mission of proclaiming the Gospel to all the ends of the earth. For Christians, the Holy Spirit serves as comforter and paraclete - He gives strength and consolation in times of trials and difficulties.

One Christian Pentecost's prayer says: “O Holy Spirit, beloved of my soul, I adore You. Enlighten me, guide me, strengthen me, and console me. I promise to submit myself to all that You desire of me”. This pledge to submit oneself reminds us to the last portion of Bhagavad-gītā (18.66): “Just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.”

Father Emmanuel: In our religion, we have the Trinity: the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. We believe we can know the name of God only by revelation from the Son of God. Jesus Christ revealed the name of the father, and therefore we take the name Christ as the revealed name of God.
Srila Prabhupada: Actually, it doesn't matter - Krishna or Christ - the name is the same. The main point is to follow the injunctions of the Vedic scriptures that recommend chanting the name of God in this age. The easiest way is to chant the maha-mantra: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Rama and Krishna are names of God, and Hare is the energy of God. So when we chant the maha-mantra, we address God together with His energy.

Śrīla A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda :
“The Science of Self Realization”
Chapter IV - “Understanding Krsna and Christ”
“Krishna, Christos, Christ”

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